Poll: Donald Trump and Ben Carson Dominate Republican Field, While Carly Fiorina Fades

Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson have broken away from the pack and dominate the crowded Republican field of contenders, while Carly Fiorina’s support has wavered, a new poll found.

Favorability for Fiorina, former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard, faded in a CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday. In a month, she fell 11 percentage points, from 15 percent to 4 percent, and declined in ranking from No. 2 to tied for No. 7. She had polled poorly in July and early August, but she gained support after the first Republican debate on August 6.

Meanwhile, real estate mogul Trump and retired neurosurgeon Carson are the only two GOP candidates with support above 20 percent. Nearly two-thirds of Republican voters said Trump or Carson is their first or second choice for the next leader of the United States, according to the poll.

Trump tops the 15-candidate GOP field with 27 percent of support, followed by Carson with 22 percent. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Senator Marco Rubio each have 8 percent, followed by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who both have 5 percent.

With 4 percent of support, Fiorina tied for seventh place with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Trump and Carson were the only two contenders to make significant gains since the previous CNN/ORC poll was conducted following the second Republican debate on September 16.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Texas Governor Rick Perry recently dropped out of the race.

The poll was conducted between October 14 and 17 among a random sample of 1,028 adults. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The results were released about a week before the top-polling Republican candidates will face off in their third debate of the election cycle next Wednesday at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Michele Richinick